Saturday, 23rd June 2018. 3:29:04pm ET

 


Artist: Gorillaz
CD Title: Demon Days
Label: Virgin Records
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
Date: 6-25-05

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The thing about Gorillaz is that the concept of the project – Blur’s Damon Albarn and a host of collaborators masquerading as a cartoon band, illustrated by Jamie Hewlett of “Tank Girl” fame – gives the artists involved a chance to push boundaries in a way that their “regular” projects would never allow. On their second full-length (not counting a couple of remix albums), Albarn and producer Danger Mouse take a few of the basic conventions of dub and trip-hop and add in elements of everything from gospel to funk to disco. “Kids With Guns” stitches a minimal reggae bit to a tinny Casio line. “O Green World” starts off like a playful hip-hop track laced with whistles and seemingly random guitar samples, but by the time the chorus kicks in, it’s Bowie nouveau with garage rock production. The beautiful “November Has Come” places Albarn’s falsetto in counterpoint with rapper MF Doom over a jazzed-out horn loop, while “DARE” features Shaun Ryder of the Happy Mondays singing disco funk. Title track “Demon Days” closes out the disc with gospel choirs and strings – like Blur’s “Tender” without the banal lyrics – and leaves you wondering what on earth you just listened to and why all music can’t sound like this.

Visit www.gorillaz.com; even if you don’t like the music, you’ll enjoy all of Jamie Hewlett’s pretty pictures.


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